EXERCISE: THE ANTIDOTE TO THE SEDENTARY RISK FACTOR
According to the American Heart Association, lack of exercise is one of the factors that predispose us to heart disease. Inactivity is as important as overeating. Unequivocally, exercise slows the aging process. People who are least active, age faster. The sedentary person begins to go downhill faster than his or her more active contemporaries, beginning as early as the late thirties or forties.
A study conducted showed that people who exercised regularly for a few minutes a day, suffered only one-third the number of heart attacks as did their less active counterparts. Electrocardiogram data indicates that inactive men showed twice as many heart abnormalities as did the exercising group.
High energy output on the job substantially reduced the risk of fatal heart attack. Less active workers were three times more likely to die of a heart attack than their more active counterparts. The data also revealed that those who were less active, smoked heavily and had high blood pressure were twenty times as likely to suffer a fatal heart attack as their counterparts who had none of these characters.
All your life you have probably heard that exercise is good for you, but even so, a large segment of the population does not participate in a regular exercise programme. You have probably heard or made these common excuses:
- I just do not have enough time.
- The weather is always so bad where I live.
- I have never seen a jogger or walker with a smile on his or her face.
- Exercise is too painful. I am just too lazy.
- Too many people die of sudden exertion.
- I am a very committed person, so I am afraid that if I get started I will become a fanatic.
- I am not an athlete.
- I do not like that sweat.
- If I start exercising, I will overeat, and so on.
Many people simply do not exercise enough to remain fit. The old saying 'use it or lose it' is true. Perhaps you have noticed what happens when you wear a cast on a broken leg for a few weeks. When the cast comes off, there is no comparison between the healed leg and the healthy leg. Unused muscles lose their conditioning very rapidly and that can happen to your whole body if you are not active.
Take control of your body by doing some exercise. The first step is getting into the right frame of mind. Be honest with yourself and admit to the excuses made and replace those excuses with information about the positive benefits. So for a healthier heart, a slimmer body and a longer life, start exercising.